A Hudson Valley child was allegedly taken about an hour away, out of state, by two people from the Bronx.

On Tuesday, the Town of Wallkill Police Department confirmed two people were arrested following an investigation into custodial interference.

Custodial Interference: Maple Hill Elementary School, Orange County, New York


On January 26, 2024, at approximately 3:16 pm, Town of Wallkill Police Officers responded to a report of a “custodial interference” at the Maple Hill Elementary School, located at 491 County Route 78 in the Town of Wallkill.

School officials told arriving officers that the mother of a student picked up her child from the school, which was in violation of a custody and visitation order.

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Officials didn't say why the mother wasn't allowed to pick up her child from the elementary school.

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Around 8:30 p.m. that same night, the child's mother, her boyfriend and the unnamed child were found in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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East Rutherford, New Jersey is about an hour drive from the Orange County school, according to Google Maps.


The mother, 32-year-old Chana Elena Morales and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Johntae Xavier Williams, were both charged with custodial interference in the first degree. Both are from the Bronx.

Morales was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt. Williams was also charged with criminal facilitation.

Both were arraigned in Orange County and released.

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"The investigation into this incident was conducted with the assistance of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secaucus Police Department, East Rutherford Police Department, and Carlstadt Police Department," the Town of Wallkill Police Department stated.

Thankfully this child was found safe. Sadly, many other children from across the Empire State remain missing. If you think you can help, see the list below.

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